Have you ever wondered what the origin behind your favourite Indian Food is? Of course, you’re too mesmerized to think of anything while you put those crunchy bites of samosa in your mouth. You’re busy making orgasmic voices with every bite of chicken tikka masala. Oh come on! Every Indian dish is enchanting provided it is has been cooked with perfection. Right?
Let’s talk about a heartbreaking truth now. Many of your favourite Indian Foods are not Indian. Even Indian people who savour the dishes every single day don’t have much idea about this fact. I bet you didn’t know that these popular Indian Foods are actually a gift from foreign countries.
1. Chicken Tikka Masala: The most popular Indian Dish in U.S. & U.K. Restaurants, Chicken Tikka Masala, has never been common in India. Why? It isn’t Indian, pal. The dish was invented by Indian Restaurants in foreign countries to meet the taste of the local people over there. Though there are number of folk lore associated with the origin of this dish, but one thing is sure that your favourite Chicken Tikka Masala doesn’t have an Indian origin.
2.Samosa: Let’s talk about your favourite tea-time Indian snack. Oh! I loved it how many of you fight for what goes better with a samosa on our Facebook page – Mint Chutney or Tamarind Chutney. This triangular stuffed delicacy actually originated in Middle East by the name of ‘sambosa’. In 13th & 14th century, traders from Middle East brought samosa in the country that went on to become the most popular Indian Street Food snack.
3.Chai: I hope you’re not reading this while having a chai latte at Starbucks but Chai is actually Chinese. Chinese believed that this comfort drink has medicinal benefits and used to love it. As soon as British came to know about it, they tried to end the monopoly by teaching Indian farmers to cultivate tea in the country. Soon, tea became an inseparable part of Indian Cuisine.
4.Naan: With its roots in Persian cuisine, this soft melt-in-mouth bread was brought to India during Mughal era. Americans and Europeans love pairing this with Chicken Tikka Masala but aren’t you a bit shocked to know that this isn’t actually Indian?
5.Jalebi: This delicious dessert has a number of variations popular in the country. North India relishes the crispy thin jalebis and South India loves the thicker version of this dish. Imartee and Jaangiri are two other variations of jalebi. Of course, when you know that the dish has so many variations popular in the country; you are tempted to think that the dish must have originated in the same country. But, you’re wrong. Jalebi was brought to India by Persian Invaders. Looks like Persians played a great role in making Indian Cuisine as rich as it is now.
6.Rajmah: Indians can fight over which region produces best Rajmah. In general, they say everyone loves Rajmah – specifically rajmah chaawal (the kidney beans preparation served with boiled basmati rice). But seldom people know that these kidney beans weren’t even grown in India. They were brought to India from Mexico. The Mexican version of this dish is a staple in Mexican cuisine.
7.Gulab Jamun: These tasty dough balls, fried and then soaked, are so versatile that you can serve them hot, cold or just at the room temperature. In fact, this is my favourite dessert. I can gulp in so many of them at a time... And I always thought it was Indian. Looks like I really need to pay a visit to Persia to know what else they gifted to India.
There are many other dishes like Vindaloo, Shukto, Daal Bhaat etc that have equally heart breaking stories but I am not so cruel that I would tell you about more. I think I would keep them secret until I come up with another blog post like this. What do you think? ;)